Imran Khan lacks public backing: Pervaiz Rashid

* Saad Rafiq says has no objection to vote recount in four constituencies

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Pervaiz Rashid said on Monday that residents of the constituencies where Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf claims its mandate was stolen do not believe in Imran Khan’s claim.
Talking to media persons at the Parliament House, the minister said only 550 supporters came to attend the PTI protest rally from Lahore, which means Imran’s slogans did not attract even his voters. Rashid said that in 2013 elections, Imran Khan got over 70 thousand votes in NA-56, Rawalpindi, and even if 10 percent of his voters from that area had come to the attend PTI rally, “it would have been a big gathering”.
The minister said that PTI Chairman Imran Khan repeated old allegations and made no new disclosure in the rally. He said that political environment in the country was “very good” and Sunday’s public rally had proved that people enjoyed the right of free speech and no hurdle was created in organising of the rallies. “Television cameras and screens provided an ample proof in this regard,” the minister claimed. He said that on completion of one year of the present democratic setup, the media wanted to discuss the performance of the federal and provincial governments, “but Imran Khan intentionally diverted the media attention to hide the failure and incompetence of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa rulers”.
He said that the Law Ministry would give its legal opinion regarding the Defence Ministry’s complaint against a private television channel when it receives the letter from the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA). About the power load shedding, he said that it was a serious matter, as in the past 13 years no new power projects were launched. The government, he said, is working day and night to complete several power projects to overcome the energy crisis, saying that such achievements cannot be achieved merely through speeches and rallies.
Meanwhile, Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique has said that his party has no objection to the verification of votes in four constituencies, but maintained that four constituencies where the PTI had won should also be reopened for verification. In a chat with reporters on Monday, Rafique said that he has apprehensions about the magnetic ink. “All the demands being made by Imran Khan regarding election reforms would eventually be resolved in the National Assembly,” he stressed. “Not only the PML-N, but every party commits irregularities during polls,” he admitted. The minister advised the PTI chief to first make “Naya Khyber Pakhtunkhwa” before talking about making a “Naya Pakistan”.

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